Sunday, August 8, 2010

Taiwan aborigines protest resettlement after deadly typhoon

Terra Daily via Agence France-Presse: Hundreds of Taiwanese indigenous villagers staged a protest on Saturday against the government's resettlement plans ahead of the one-year anniversary of a deadly typhoon. "Guard the homeland" and "oppose forced resettlement", shouted the protesters, from central and southern Taiwan, as they gathered in a square leading to the presidential office in the capital Taipei.

"We are forced to move out of our lands and this will destroy our tribes and cultures," said organiser Omi Wiling. "We want to have a say in the resettlement process. The government neither understands nor respects our way of life." About 500 villagers camped in the square late Friday to demand President Ma Ying-jeou hear their requests, he said.

Thousands of indigenous villagers were left homeless when Typhoon Morakot ravaged Taiwan last year, leaving more than 700 people dead or missing in one of the island's worst natural disasters. The authorities have since built 1,480 new houses accommodating nearly 6,000 people, according to a cabinet statement. Taiwan's government stressed that it has never forced the villagers to move and that all resettlement are voluntary….

Typhoon Morakot over Taiwan in August 2009, via NASA

No comments: